Dangerous Scale

Most people who are trying to lose weight often become frustrated by the number that is displayed on the scale. As a personal trainer I use the scale as a tool to determine an individual’s fat mass. Multiplying a person’s body fat percentage by the weight measured on the scale easily accomplishes this. The fat mass number is then subtracted from their body weight, thus giving the individuals lean mass, which is the muscle, water, and internal organs of the body. For example, two females that are 5’6 and weight 135lbs can look very different from each other, even to the extreme of being polar opposites. One might have a body fat percentage of 33%, while the other might have a percentage of only 22%.

The individuals whose weight will fall the most significantly on the scale are those individuals that are obese. Generally as body fat percentages go for males, 10% and under indicates very lean, 11-15% indicates a lean individual, 16-20% is average, and 20% and higher is considered obese. For women, the following percentages are used: 20% and under indicates a very lean individual, 21%-25% indicates a lean individual, 26%-34% is average, and 34% and greater is considered obese.

A qualified personal trainer can check your body fat percentage with a skin caliper and will be able to calculate your fat mass. A realistic goal for most people is to loose 3% body fat in 4-6 weeks. This is done without starving the body, and being on a rigorous exercise program.

So get your body fat percentage and lose weight by the test, not the scale!